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Indigo by Padgett Powell
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Indigo by Padgett Powell
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Nov 09, 2021 | ISBN 9781646220052

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    Nov 09, 2021 | ISBN 9781646220052

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“Powell seems to me . . . a champion in the shadows, a rare creature, a delicious hybrid—and a major American writer . . . The volume’s 18 essays span four decades and are unified by his unmistakable voice, which in turn makes Indigo of a piece with his works of fiction . . .The prose keeps you going through the pages of Indigo, whatever the subject matter . . .Thank you, Padgett Powell.” —Christian Lorentzen, The New York Times Book Review

“Powell is far too good, far too stylish, far too wacky, and certainly far too American to have achieved anything but cult status. But his 10 books, written in his idiosyncratic style, a hysterical Southern gothic mashup of pathos and hijinks, are singular literary creations and the work of a beautiful weirdo the likes of which are nearly an extinct species in the literary world . . . It’s hard to imagine anything with less potential for virality than gumbo or a squirrel, but in the hands of a master like Powell, these trivialities are elevated to the transcendent.” —Alex Perez, The Washington Examiner

“Enriching Indigo, melancholies rise through hidden shale. Throughout these essays, with their comic veneer and powerful acerbic energy, the author steers himself and the reader into a deeper blue, and it becomes clear that this is the story of Padgett Powell’s life, or, short of an actual memoir, it may be held in regard as such.” —Jeff Calder, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“These 18 essays that span 30-plus years highlight Powell’s unique voice and trademark quips.” —Wayne Catan, On the Seawall

“Padgett Powell possesses a voice that is unmistakable . . . Whatever subject he turns his attention to, Powell is unapologetically Powell, with his characteristic wit, wicked humor, and unerring nose for a good Southern character.” —Lindsey Liles, Garden and Gun

“Powell is a maestro of the sentence, offering a pleasing blend of high and low, antic energy cut with archaic fustiness.” —Anthony Domestico, Commonweal

“Fans of Padgett Powell’s fiction expect to find in Indigo, his first collection of nonfiction, quirky characters and inimitable prose, and they won’t be disappointed. Another set of readers, unfamiliar with Powell’s catalogue but drawn to this book by ecstatic reviews and superlative blurbage, have a treat in store.” —Sean Kinch, Chapter 16

Indigo . . . is rewardingly provoking and intelligent . . . Powell’s prose is hard-won and sharply funny.” —Samuel Pickering, The Missouri Review

“Memorable reflections on writing and life from an author who pulls no punches.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“This collection captures Powell’s literary gifts, and his generous appreciation of both his Southern roots and the world around him.” —Booklist

“[A] winning collection of essays . . . With infectious curiosity and sympathy, Powell covers literature, sports, and the American South . . . Powell’s prose is razor-sharp, and locales such as New Orleans and Bermuda come alive through his shrewd eye and distinctive storytelling. His insightful observations on the craft and teaching of writing are a bonus. This will delight Powell’s fans and should gain him some new ones, too.” —Publishers Weekly

Indigo, like all Powell’s writing, has a kind of radiance, wild joy, and cantankerous sympathy. In the firmament of modern writing, he’s in his own constellation.” –-Alec Wilkinson, staff writer for The New Yorker, author of Moonshine and The Ice Balloon

Indigo is such a great book—somehow all at once an ars poetica, memento mori, and self-portrait in a convex mirror.” —David Shields, author of Reality Hunger and The Thing About Life Is That Someday You’ll Be Dead

Indigo is an excellent book, which I loved. Apart from the expected Padgett Powell things—acuity, comedy, sudden 3D-image-infliction—it develops the character of the essayist over the course of all the pieces in a way that’s not un-novel-like.” —Adam Levin, author of The Instructions and Bubblegum

Praise for Padgett Powell:

“I have just come off of reading Cries for Help, Various, and I am changed. I am indoctrinated. I am a disciple. I am an earnest, resignedly bewildered, fan. . . . A few of these pieces are the kind of ecstatic exercise that some will decry as decidedly not short stories in the classical sense, and others, if you deign to peer beneath the frenetic lunacy, are built with such steel-forged structures that even narrative purists will find them sound.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

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